What Are Braces?

Braces are an orthodontic device that apply pressure to teeth to align and straighten them. But braces are more than cosmetic. They help reshape your jaw to correct problems that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, headaches, earaches as well as chewing, biting and speaking problems.

How Do Braces Work?

All braces essentially work in the same way: Braces place a controlled pressure on teeth to move them in a specific direction. The inside story: When force is applied to teeth, bone cells mobilize around the root of the tooth to change the surrounding bone. This process enables us to guide tooth movement.

Types of Braces
Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces consist of several parts: A metal bracket (a single brace) that’s glued to the front of teeth, small rubber bands (available in neutral and fun colors) that go around each bracket, arch wires that guide and move your teeth.

  • Pros: Metal braces can treat complex issues, such as extreme overcrowding. They’re generally less expensive, too, compared to other types of teeth-straightening devices.
  • Cons: They’re visible when you smile. They can be painful in the beginning, too. There’s definitely an adjustment period.
Clear Braces

Clear braces are nearly “invisible”. Because they are clear, they blend in with the teeth better and are less noticeable.

  • Pros: For people whose orthodontic issues are more complex (and not good candidates for Invisalign), clear braces are a little more discreet with similar advantages of metal braces.
  • Cons: Some clear braces are prone to staining which defeats the purpose of using them. Parkland Orthodontics uses only the best brands to help ensure that doesn’t happen.
Lingual Braces
  • Pros: Lingual braces are less visible than traditional metal braces.
  • Cons: Because of their placement, lingual braces can cause a lisp or a whistling sound when speaking. But the sound often goes away once you get used to them.
Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are metal braces applied to the front of your teeth. But instead of using rubber bands to keep the arch wire on the bracket, self-ligating braces use a slightly different system. Arch wires are held in place by the bracket itself, which has a small, spring-loaded door.

  • Pros: Self-ligating braces come in metal or clear brackets, so they’re less conspicuous.
  • Cons: Self-ligating braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces.

Which Braces Are Best?

The braces or orthodontic treatment you choose for you and your family can depend on several factors, including cost, treatment time, your orthodontic issues, the amount of discomfort you’re willing to tolerate, and your concern for appearance.

Your best bet? Come in for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. We can evaluate your situation to help you make an informed decision.

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